Thursday, November 26, 2015

1995-96 Detroit Red Wings Chris Osgood Jersey

Born on this date in 1972, goaltender Chris Osgood played for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League beginning with the 1989-90 season. After another full season with the Tigers, which included scoring a goal on January 3, 1991, he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings that spring.

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Osgood's road to the NHL began in Medicine Hat

In 1991-92, Osgood played 15 games for Medicine Hat, 16 with the Brandon Wheat Kings and finally 21 more with the Seattle Thunderbirds, who he backstopped to the Memorial Cup tournament to conclude his junior hockey career.

For the 1992-93 season, Osgood was assigned to the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL, where he played in 45 games. He would play 4 games for Adirondack to begin the 1993-94 season until becoming the fourth goaltender that season for the Detroit Red Wings. There, he took the reins and played in 41 games for Detroit, posting a stellar 23-8-5 record, but the heavily favored Red Wings lost in the first round of the playoffs, with a gaffe by Osgood late in the third period of Game 7 leading to the defeat.

Detroit management felt the young Osgood was not ready for number one status and traded for Stanley Cup winner Mike Vernon during the offseason. The 1994-95 season was delayed by labor issues and limited Osgood to 19 games in support of Vernon's 30 appearances. The club made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but were eventually swept in four straight.

For the 1995-96 season, Osgood played in 50 games, winning a league high 39 as well as finishing with an NHL leading 2.17 goals against average, which allowed him and Vernon to share the William Jennings Trophy for the tandem allowing the fewest goals in the league.

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Vernon and Osgood with the Jennings Trophy

His outstanding season also saw him make his first NHL All-Star Game. If that weren't enough, Osgood also became a member of an exclusive club, as he scored a goal, becoming only the second goaltender after Ron Hextall to actually score on a direct shot.

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Osgood played in his first All-Star Game in 1996

Osgood and Vernon again split the playing time in 1996-97, with Osgood finishing with a 23-13-9 record from 47 appearances. Vernon started the bulk of the playoff games, as Osgood was limited to 2 games during Detroit's march to their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years.

Following the injuries to teammate Vladimir Konstantinov in the days following their 1997 championship, the 1997-98 Red Wings were a team on a mission. Vernon was traded, which made Osgood the undisputed number one goaltender. He responded with a 33-20-11 record and 6 shutouts during the regular season before going 16-6 during the playoffs as Detroit won their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

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Osgood hoists the Stanley Cup in 1998

Osgood also had a memorable career moment that season when he fought Patrick Roy of the rival Colorado Avalanche, who had fought Vernon during the previous season.

Osgood would play three additional seasons as the Red Wings top netminder, but his games played and win totals would slide a bit each season and the team failed to return to the cup finals. Finally, Detroit was able to acquire six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek. After unsuccessfully trying to trade Osgood, the Red Wings place him on waivers and he was acquired by the New York Islanders prior to the 2001-02 season.

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Osgood while a member of the Islanders

He would play a season and a half with the Islanders, which included helping them return to the playoffs after a 32 win season in 2001-02 before being traded to the St. Louis Blues during the 2002-03 season.

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Osgood during him time with St. Louis

Osgood played 9 games at the end of 2002-03 and played in 67 as the Blues number one goaltender, winning 31 in 2003-04, but playoff success eluded the Blues and Osgood's contract expired at the end of the season. It was also the last NHL hockey played until 2005-06 due to the lockout which cancelled the 2004-05 season. Unlike many players, Osgood did not seek out a team in Europe to keep active and sat out the entire season.

He was re-signed by the Red Wings for 2005-06, but a groin injury delayed the start of his season, which began with a three game conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Once back with Detroit, Osgood went 20-6-5 but an injury cut short his playoffs and the Red Wings postseason.

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Osgood during his conditioning stint in Grand Rapids

For the 2006-07 season, Hasek returned to Detroit while Osgood suffered a fractured hand, which led to Hasek assuming the number one role for the season which limited Osgood to 21 appearances. The following season Osgood played 43 games with a 27-9-4 record, 4 shutouts and a 2.09 goals against average as he and Hasek split playing time during the regular season, with the duo winning the Jennings Trophy for the second time in Osgood's career. Osgood's performance that season also earned him another NHL All-Star Game appearance.

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The dominating duo of Osgood and Hasek
teamed up to win the Jennings Trophy in 2008

After Hasek started the playoffs, Osgood took over in Game 4 of the first round. He then started Game 5 and the Red Wings went on a 9 game winning streak to eliminate Nashville and Colorado as well as putting Dallas on the brink.

Eventually the Stars were eliminated and Osgood started the Stanley Cup Finals by shutting out the high powered Pittsburgh Penguins in Games 1 and 2. The Red Wings would go on to win the series in six games to capture the Stanley Cup for the third time in Osgood's career. During the playoffs, Osgood was 14-4 with a 1.55 goals against.

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Osgood celebrates winning his third Stanley Cup in 2008

The 2008-09 regular season was a difficult one for Osgood, but Detroit was still strong enough as defending champions to qualify for the playoffs, where he was able to turn his game around to carry the Red Wings to Game 7 of the finals, where they lost a rematch to Pittsburgh.

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His playing time diminished over the next to seasons down to 23 games in 2009-10 and finally 11 games in 2010-11, but he was still able to win 5 games that year which included Osgood winning his 400th career game, just the 10th goaltender in NHL history to reach that milestone.

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Osgood with his trademark birdcage mask,
the last goalie in the NHL to wear the two piece design

Following the season, he announced his retirement from the game with a record of 401-216-95 with 50 shutouts, 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Jennings Trophies, 3 NHL All-Star Games and Top Ten positions all-time in Career Wins, Win Percentage, Playoff Wins and Playoff Shutouts.

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Chris Osgood

Today's featured jersey is a 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings Chris Osgood jersey as worn during the season Osgood had a 2.17 goals against average and set a career high with 39 wins to lead the league in both categories.

This classic Red Wings jersey dates back to the 1932-33 season when the franchise changed their name from the Detorit Falcons to the Red Wings under the ownership of James Norris. There have been a few minor tweaks along the way, but the jersey has essentially reamined unchanged since it's introduction.

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Detroit Red Wings 1995-96 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1995-96 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a Detroit Red Wings Chris Osgood 2009-10 jersey as worn during the opening games of the NHL season which took place against the St. Louis Blues in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the NHL Premiere games. This jersey was worn during Osgood's final season when he won his 400th game, putting him in exclusive company among NHL goaltenders.

This jersey is a Reebok Edge jersey which was introduced into the NHL for the 2007-08 season. While many teams were given complete jersey makeovers, teams like Detroit with jersey traditions which dated back decades, insisted on maintaining their classic look.

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Detroit Red Wings 2009-10 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 2009-10 B jersey.jpg

In today's video section, Osgood wins his 400th NHL game and is mobbed by his teammates.

Here, Osgood scores a goal against the Hartford Whalers on March 6, 1996.

Next, extended highlights from Osgood in the 1990's.

You never know when those goaltending skills will come in handy.

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